The number one thing that a Casting Director wants is an actor who is present. In class, a student was doing a scene but didn’t feel he had gotten the character. I asked him what he – not the character – wanted right now. He said that he had had a tough day. I said, “So do you want a hug?” He did. “Use it.” I said. “But I’m a cop, at a crime scene, testing out a new partner.” I urged him to try it and see.
This time his listening connected him to his scene partner. He surprised himself by the very motivated and spontaneous physical choices he made, and he didn’t stumble on any lines. From a casting point of view, the scene had the sexual tension, conflict, and energy needed for a strong audition.
You can only be present to what is real for you in the moment.
Next time, ask yourself, “What do I want right now?” Pick the most pressing need. Then use that as your intention, even if you think it will never work for the scene. Try it and see what happens.
When it comes to being present and bringing your performance to the next level, share your experiences with us.
Remember, as an actor, you’re part of a community and your experience – which is your story – can serve as a valuable learning tool and inspiration for others.